Category: Compost

Confessions of a Yield Collector – Horse Manure (France)

As far I can remember, I have always loved collections. I started collecting postal stamps, then wild mice that I caught in barns, and at one point, I even collected ‘important’ items from our planet to show other universes (should I ever be abducted by aliens). The box consisted of simple items like an AA battery, a cinema ticket, a photograph of Michael Jackson and so on. As I mentioned […]

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Construction of Holzmiete-Inspired Compost Toilet and Urinal System (Tasmania, Australia)

by Paul Kean, Tiger Hill Permaculture Last year some trees were cleared for milling on the farm and a by-product of that process was the tree crowns and stumps that can’t be milled. There is estimated to be about 200 ton of stumps and crowns to be cut up for firewood as a result. This ensures that all resources from the project stay on the site and less need to […]

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How to Increase the Rate of Biological Nitrogen Fixation

This short article is a chapter from my book “Fertilizer for Free: How to make the most from Biological Nitrogen Fixation”. One important question permaculture designers should ask themselves: Is there anything you can do to increase the rate of biological nitrogen fixation? The benefits of having more nitrogen rich organic matter in the soil are myriad. Starting with: higher general productivity richer and more diverse soil life more available […]

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How to Prepare and Take Care of a No-Dig Vegetable Garden (Slovenia)

Welcome to no-dig gardening. This is a tutorial which is written in a form of questions and answers. Questions will lead you on a path, and answers will give further directions. I want to share with you seven years of experience with no-dig gardening which gives abundant yields and improves soil life and quality year after year. First we will take a look at natural patterns, weeds and learn about […]

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How to Permanently Improve Your Sandy Soil

Size of a pumpkin leaf: 42 cm, that’s 16.5″. Not bad for a sandy soil! One of the problems a lot of people have is how to improve the fertility of sandy soil. One solution is to add more organic matter (compost, manure, wood chips), but unfortunately if you live in a hot and humid climate the stuff you put in the soil is going to decompose quickly, since microbial […]

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Low-Tech Natural Nursery Strategies (Washington, USA)

When most people think about nurseries and plant propagation, they conjure up rows and rows of black pots and the smell of moist palettes of artificial fertilizer. But there is no natural law which dictates this to be the only, or even a preferable way in which to propagate plants. While in-situ propagation from seed has been proven to be the healthiest and most energy efficient means of mass propagating […]

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How to Steal from Your Neighbors and Have Them Love You For It (Panama)

Stolen leaves over yucca plants with banana circle backer The first time I did it I did so on the sly. I needed some mulch for a piece of dried up clay I was hoping to convert into a forest floor upon which I planned to grow a food forest. The piece of land next door was thick with leaves, and having seen the groundskeeper over there laboring with a […]

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Meet the Designer: Benjamin Vidmar (Svalbard, Arctic Ocean)

Inside a spare hotel room, on one of the most northern places on earth, something magical is happening. Plants are growing, worms are composting waste, and people are feeling re-connected to food in a world of mining and monetary extraction. Meet Benjamin Vidmar, Director of Polar Permaculture Solutions. Benjamin has been working on creating a permaculture system in Svalbard, part of a group of Islands in the Arctic Ocean. A […]

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Soil Science Basics for Beginners

by Aaron Jerad It’s dark. You are surrounded by giant flesh eating amoebas. You can’t move very fast…. Welcome to the world of the bacteria, the smallest but most abundant member of the soil food web. Often feared but essential, whether directly or indirectly, for the survival of almost all other living organisms on earth. Cover cropping, mulching and composting are three great ways to build soil. In this photo […]

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Composting Toilets Made From Wheelie Bins

I just read a post on composting toilets here on the PRI site and remembered that I never posted about the composting toilets I made last year (for various projects) based on a similar principles, but a distinct design. Below I offer a few words of introduction and then post photos of the building process with instructions. As part of various projects that I’ve helped organise over the last six […]

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Building a Basic Compost Toilet

by James Reid Humanure, which one is it — embarrassing waste product or invaluable, free fertiliser? Heh, what do you reckon?! The human body has within its waste products (faeces and urine) pretty much all the suitable nutrients needed to help grow the food we need to keep ourselves healthy and well fed. Everyday we produce this free fertiliser and flush it down the toilet when it could be being collected, managed correctly […]

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Dung Beetles – The Underground Army Enriching the Soil

This video gives an overview of the benefits of establishing and managing dung beetles. Dung beetles are fascinating insects, working tirelessly to bury dung around the country. One cow per day produces approximately 18kg of dung. These beetles process the dung by burying it deep into the soil and helping the plant roots to access them directly. In a way they are also providing food for the earth worms. When […]

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